The role of probate lawyers in an estate is a very important one. They are the ones who will represent the interests of their clients, acting as a liaison between the decedent of will and their heirs. The primary duty of a probate lawyer under the Probate Code is to administer the affairs of estates must comply with state and local laws. This is to ensure that the process of distribution of wealth is proper and in accordance with state probate law. In short, the lawyer helps the heirs to settle all probate matters.
The main role of a probate attorney under the California Probate Code is to help administer the estate. There are many instances where the estate has not been settled properly and probate has been required. Some examples are when the client has died intestate (without a will), when a last will and testament were not drafted or when there is no valid insurance policy to cover the final expenses of estate planning. When probate is required, the estate must be distributed according to state and local laws. Some of the duties of a probate attorney are;
Listing any assets owned by the decedent prior to death is the first duty of any probate attorney. This includes bank accounts, stocks, automobiles, shares, brokerage accounts, pensions, annuities, tax returns, gifts, inheritances, and privately owned residential and commercial properties. If the estate has been settled before death, the lawyer may also request a copy of public records and obtain other information relevant to estate settlement. The lawyer will then sit with the representative of the decedent’s estate to determine if there are any valid reasons to dispute the decedent’s right to be treated as the legal representative of the estate.
Once the lawyer has obtained all the requisite information and is able to determine if probate is necessary, he/she should hire an attorney who will represent the decedent. This is the person whom the client will work closely with throughout the process, until the final settlement. The fee that the lawyer charges will depend on the complexity of the case. It may start from a low fee to cover costs and other miscellaneous fees. But in most cases, the entire cost of probate settlement will be borne by the attorney.
Some states have already exempted probate lawyers from some duties to their clients. In such states, they can participate in the settlement discussions and legal aspects of estate planning. However, they cannot participate in the process itself. Other states do not have such restrictions and probate lawyers are allowed to take part in the administration of wills if asked to do so by the client, said Georgia’s finest probate attorney.
Another thing to consider is the experience of the legal services company. You should opt for a company that has a track record and a long history in providing quality legal services. It is better to go with established law firms as they are more reliable and experienced. If you need to find quick solutions, you can always seek the advice of experienced probate lawyers and make use of their services to deal with your estate matters.